Let me start this by saying I was a vegetarian for seven years.
I see a lot of articles from people who become vegetarian and write about how it has been "life-changing" after only three or so months. I'm here to give you the real scoop.
Like several vegetarians and vegans, I saw a documentary on factory farming, got emotional, and decided that I wouldn't eat meat. In fact, for the first six months, I was a mostly raw vegan. Boy, did that have consequences. You would think that with all that fiber you would go…I did not.
That's when I incorporated eggs and dairy back into my diet. I didn't eat meat for the following 7 years. Before I was vegetarian, I loved ribs, burgers, and anything from the barbeque. I found meat substitutes that were okay; Morningstar buffalo chicken patties are the best. After a few years, I began to forget what meat tasted like.
I also judged people and became that annoying soy-eating stereotype. I would tell everyone how meat was killing the environment, and how much "damage" it could do to your body. I thought vegetarianism was a miracle cure for anything: weight loss, illness, anything. I bragged about having my then-slim figure created by eating plants when in reality, it was the restriction.
Then my freshman year of college, all hell broke loose with my health. I started having horrible stomach problems. Before I got on prescription medication, I would be throwing up at least once a day. For this reason, I have had a lot of cavities only in the back of my mouth. I also was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Even today, I am still trying to figure out exactly what is wrong with me.
My health began turning for the worst again this past year. I am willing to try anything just to feel better. I realized that even though I had been cutting out certain "trigger foods" for my stomach condition, it still wasn't working. I was also tired of feeling tired and having horrible canker sores. So I did something I thought I would never do.
I started eating meat again.
It began with fish, shrimp, and crabs for a month. I then started eating poultry, but I still don't eat red meat. I now have so many options at restaurants and am no longer limited to a black bean burger (which I still love). I have also had fewer colds, sore throats, and so on (even though I am actually sick right now, ironically). My stomach is still in a constant battle, but I feel more alert, and less tired.
My skin freaked out for the first two weeks, but then improved. I only have canker sores when I am sick, instead of all the time.
I told myself if I didn't feel any better, I would go back to the veggie lifestyle, but I do feel better inside and out. This isn't an article about me bashing vegetarians or vegans, as I was one for seven years. This is just me giving my past experiences as a word of reference or caution.